Amla Candy – How to use Amla – Amla benefits – The Indian Gooseberry

by Helene Dsouza on November 23, 2012

In India, one fruit has gained more more importance over the years. I am speaking of the Indian Gooseberry, which is commonly known as Amla all over the country. The Amla Berry is popular amongst Indians for ages, but not for its culinary uses but mostly for its medicinal Ayurvedic properties. The benefits are countless, yet the fruit never achieved a popular statues outside the Indian subcontinent. Keeping all that in mind, I had already started to research a year ago for the reason why the fruit was barely used in the kitchen even amongst the locals. My conclusion is that the fruit is not the easiest to handle and its super sour. Nevertheless, I came up with a solution and reason to use it all the more in our home, simply by turning it into a delicious candy treat for the whole family!

Amla Candy - How to use Amla - Amla benefits - The Indian Gooseberry  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

In Goa, the fruit is hardly used. Apparently the fruit used to be not available here before, but as you know Goa has grown immensely over the year, so it isn’t a surprise that the fruit finally ended up in the local markets, such as the busy Mapusa Market. I guess the Indian Gooseberry is a typical northern fruit (correct me if I am wrong), yet when I roamed about the north and I visited markets, I hadn’t come across it. India is a complicated and mysterious country, so if I had moved in traditional villages, then maybe I would have got a glance of an Amla tree. For sure at least the fruit isn’t as rare as other Indian Berries, such as the Goan Zunna and Kantam Berry.

The Indian Gooseberry is known in some languages in a different name, but Amla is a name that will pass in most of the places. Some of the other names in India (according to wiki) are Amloki (Bengali), Aula (Punjabi), Nellikka (Malayalam), Heikru (Manipuri) and Usiri or Usirikai (Telugu). In Thailand its known as Ma Kham Pom, in China as Anmole, in Tibet as Skyu ru ra, in Myanmar as Zee Phyu Thee and the botanical latin name would be Phyllanthus emblica or Emblica officinalis. Often it happened that I am looking for a fruit in a market and the seller can’t recognize it, sometimes he will know it under a different name, so this knowledge here might come handy in the future. Unfortunately wiki isn’t always correct, so please feel free to let me know if you think one name here might be wrong. For example the Konkani translation in Wikipedia is thought to be wrong by the locals here.

Amla Candy - How to use Amla - Amla benefits - The Indian Gooseberry  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

Why is the Amla Berry so valued nowadays? What’s the fuss about it? As I had mentioned above, the fruit is much used in the Ayurvedic Medicine. If you come across the famous Himalaya branded Avurvedic Tablets and Capsules, you will realize that many of the mixed ingredient products include Amalaki (Sanskrit word). I even heard that the Amla powders are a key ingredient in some famous Ayurveda mixtures such as Chyawanprash. Unfortunately my knowledge is very tiny around that, otherwise I would share some ingredient mixtures that will boost your health.

Instead of writing about some healing Amla mixtures here, I decided to go with what I am good in, cooking. Anyway, there are more cooks in this world then Medicine makers, so at the end my knowledge will make more sense for you all. The Indian Gooseberry appears to be another super fruit just like the soursop (fruit). It’s stuffed with Vitamin C (Antioxidants), in fact some would even say that it contains the most concentrated amount of Vitamin C found in the Plant kingdom. Nowadays its clear that Vitamin C = Antioxidants = Cell rejuvenation = Cancer killer! Otherwise the Indian Gooseberry is known to help against indigestion, inflammations, arthritis and even diabetes. It cools the stomach when taken in, it treats dry cough and it even gets rid of the toxins in the liver. Believe me, the fruit has so many uses for our health, it’s incredible that the western countries haven’t realized and used it yet! The plant parts and of course fruit have been used since ever in the Ayurvedic Medicine, yet it seems the Common Medicinal world has just started to test it in laboratories all over the world. I have been using the Ayurvedic Amla powder for 2 years now and I can guarantee that it has changed my health to the better!

Amla Candy - How to use Amla - Amla benefits - The Indian Gooseberry  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

For that reason I had decided that we should use the fruit in our kitchen as well. After asking some of the Karnataka people here in Goa and after researching online, I came to the conclusion that the fruit is used in the kitchen but that it was rather rare. The reason for that is, that the Amla fruit is very sour, astringent, bitter, a bit sweet and even pungent (incredible right?!). Plus it is super hard and never gets soft, even  when its fouling, and that core isn’t making it any easier to cut it either. Mostly, locals would throw it into a curry just like the Ambade fruit or they would simply boil it in some water, add some salt on it, leave it in the sun and eat it like that. I heard as well that some people make a pickle of it or that some just grate it into their food like Lemon Zest. I wasn’t in the mood for a curry or pickle I wanted to turn the fruit into something sweet, so I researched my part online and I came across a page that was describing on how to make Amla Candy in Hindi.

Cutting and preparing an Amla fruit is a real challenge at the beginning and you will need some time and patience to finish the job. Seriously, the first time when I went for it, I thought I would cry out of frustration, but then I got smarter and figured out that there is a little trick. The best way to get rid of the hard core is to boil the fruits first in water and then the seeds comes out easily. At the same time the boiling helps in getting rid of any bitter flavors in the fruit.

Amla Candy - How to use Amla - Amla benefits - The Indian Gooseberry  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

I went for the candy recipe as you can see, but I changed it a bit by adding some Strawberry powder. Now don’t judge me, but I used Strawberry Tang! It was waiting there in my pantry for me and I thought the amla candy recipe was a bit boring after having tried it last year. It needed a kick and some color effect! The Tang didn’t change flavor after cooking it! I tried different cooking ways, stove top and micro and with and without keeping it in the sun and I decided now that the recipe was perfect and complete. Apparently I read somewhere that the amount of tannin in the fruits helps it to absorb (?) colors better, so another reason why the fruit likes to be bright in candy form. Now its about time that you get to try it and enjoy the Amla candies as well!

By the way, the fruit in its sugary candy form can be kept for a good while, of course you should store it in a cool place!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Amla Candy – How to use Amla – Amla benefits – The Indian Gooseberry
 
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 350 grams fresh Amlas (Indian Gooseberries) without the seed core
  • 250 grams crystal Sugar + extra for sprinkling before serving
  • about 3 heaped Tablespoons Strawberry powder (I used Tang)
  • Water to cover the fruits in the pot
Instructions
  1. Wash your Amla fruits twice very well.
  2. Keep a pot ready with boiling water and cook your amla until soft.
  3. Discard the water and strain the fruits. Cut out discard the seed core and cut the fruit into wedges.
  4. Place the Amla wedges all into one pot and add the sugar, strawberry powder and water.
  5. Now, keep the pot on medium fire first and wait for it to heat up. Then increase the heat so that you reach a good rolling boil. Keep on stirring at this point and wait for 2 minutes heavy boiling, then take back the heat to slow. Stir frequently and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. After cooking let it cool and pour it into a bowl. Place this bowl into the sun for 4-5 days and stir ever day at least once. Keep it in the fridge over night. You will realize that the liquid will have decreased after 5 days. You should be left with only a tiny amount of syrup around the candy. Keep it more days in the sun until the liquid is all dissolved, if it is still too wet!
  7. Once it is ready, just sprinkle some sugar on top, mix it and serve it or store it in a cool place in a Tupperware. It should preserve well with the sugar and in general the fruit keeps some time.
Notes
Note that the making of the candy takes a couple of days and plenty of sunshine!

Amla Candy - How to use Amla - Amla benefits - The Indian Gooseberry  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things!Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

I never knew there was an Indian gooseberry but that candy looks very inviting!

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Nami | Just One Cookbook

I’ve never had gooseberry or I might had it without knowing it. Your candies look pretty and I love to taste them!

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Terra

I have seen gooseberries, but I guess it may not be the Indian ones. I love learning about new food from you:-) What a great idea to make it into candy, now I totally want some! Yum, Hugs, Terra

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Choc Chip Uru

Mmmm my mum uses Amla sometimes but never like this – looks delicious :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

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Helene Dsouza

Cool Uru, How does she use it in her cooking? Is it available in Australia?

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Sanjeeta kk

I love Amla candies..a fav. munchy for any time. And what a lovely idea to add strawberry powder to the recipe.

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Helene Dsouza

Sanjeeta do you make it at home the candies? I love the tangy taste as well, so unique!

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CJ at Food Stories

I have read about the health benefits of amla before but never searched them out … really enjoyed your post :-)

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Helene Dsouza

Oh wow, so the knowledge has reached so far. Good, because that fruit is really a treasure!

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kristy

I’ve never heard of this little fruit before. Your candies look just delicious. The color is so striking!

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Parsley Sage

You’ve made a healthy candy! That’s brilliant :) We’ve got a berry here that’s a pain to eat other than to just pop it in your mouth and suck…10 points for patience!

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Helene Dsouza

what’s that berry called in your corner? I am curious now =P

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kitchenriffs

I love gooseberries (particularly in pie), but have never had an Indian one. Sounds really interesting! Good tips on how to prepare them – thanks so much.

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rita cooks italian

Are these candies made with Amla berries MAGIC? LOL a lot of very interesting information. I did not notice these berries when I visited India (I’m always very curious when I am in a market abroad!!)

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Helene Dsouza

amla berries magic? What’s that, a brand? lol I am such an ignorant. ^.^ oh man there are places that I would love to drag you to Rita! Next time when you come ;)

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Cass @foodmyfriend

They are so beautiful and god you have beautiful nails!

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Helene Dsouza

LOL Cass I ll tell you a secrete of mine… I used to bite my nails before. That’s the first time in my life that my nails look neat.

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chinmayie @ love food eat

How beautiful! I always buy amla candy but I should try making it myself next time. Looks so beautiful!

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Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

I never thought about it before, but although I have eaten gooseberry jam, etc., I have never actually seen gooseberries to know what they look like whole. It can be very frustrating shopping when things have so many different names. Being Armenian and having grown up around Armenian and other Middle Eastern / Mediterranean markets around Boston, once I moved, I realized I was at a loss when shopping for spices and other things because the names were all different. I will be curious to keep an eye out for these. Oh, and I’ve never heard of Strawberry Tang either LOL. I always thought it just came in orange…shows how old I am. ;)

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srijit

Hi , Here in Kerala, India, we have a shortcut to make this agreeably palatable to the kids. Just fill a jar with gooseberries, and then pour honey into it. Leave it sealed for 41 days. you will see that the gooseberry has kind of dissolved into the honey. a couple of teaspoons of this is easy to the tongue and agreeable to kids too

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Helene Dsouza

wow that is a very good idea and tip! Further its easy for anybody to try that at home. Thank you very much for sharing this here with us. Very much appreciated!

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anu

Too good!!!

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suraj yadav

i have read the whole article given above regarding awla…..and i found that , this fruit is very rich in vitamins and highly antioxident and everyone must use this fruit in their diet to keep themselves healthy…..

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sarab kaur

I eat dry amla candy,. can you please tell me how much amla candy I should eat in one day.???.. I want heavy hair

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Helene Dsouza

well… I always follow the rule with any food items: “The dose makes the poison”. What it means is, don’t over do anything, especially food items and in this case I would say just take it easy and consume amla candy in a balanced manner. Amla is not poisonous if you eat too much, I don’t mean that, what I mean is never over eat anything in this world, just eat the amount that you enjoy and don’t force yourself just because you want gorgeous hair. =)

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Ashwani

Hey Helene,

I use to eat Amla candies, and while searching its benefits landed on this page. Well, It is really good to see lot many people interested to take taste of Indian Gooseberries :)

I just wanted to share few more details with you and others about other stuffs which can be made out of these berries:
1. “Murraba”(Savoury) a sweet dish, very famous in North India(In Eastern UP,a state in India), is made using the whole Amla and dipping it into a concentrated sugar solution, and leaving it for long so that Amla can absorb the sweetness(using a fork amla is engraved first)
2. You can visit, “Pratapgarh” a district in Uttar Pradesh, Very Famous for Amla. You’ll find Amla and its trees abundantly everywhere.

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